Mad Dash to the Library

Psst ... here's a secret for you: Libraries are the happenin' places to be!

They begin to line up on the sidewalk as much as an hour before the doors open. At 10 a.m. they make a mad dash through all three entrances. Security guards estimate they are 200 to 300 strong, race-walking in their eagerness to get inside.

Is it the box office for a hot concert? A store selling the latest, coolest video game player? A sports event?

No, it's San Francisco's public library.

To the surprise of nearly everyone, libraries are hot. The city's Main Library has such a rush of visitors every morning when they open that one staffer jokingly refers to it as, "the running of the bulls."

Link - via Information Junk

Previously on Neatorama: Beautiful Libraries Around the World

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Solo makes a good point. The library isn't out to compete with local businesses - they exist side by side with bookstores, for example. Yes, the service is paid for with tax dollars, but the taxpayers are the ones who can download the movies. Libraries are lot more than just books; besides the downloadable movies they have downloadable audiobooks, they do programs, they have speakers, you can check out music, magazines, etc. In short, a place of value in the community for everyone.
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I'm hoping these movies available for download have some cultural value. That is after all, what libraries do: provide access to culture to everyone.

Regarding the argument of competing with the private sectors, the libraries around here (Portland, OR) have had videos for a very long time and I have not seen one blockbuster go out of business.

There is always a "taxpayer" to complain how their "tax monies" are spent. Truth is, we have governments to serve the need of the people in areas that can't be profitable: culture, education, law enforcement ...
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